Quick Meteorological Discussion on Tonight’s Snow (and a map)

3-19 snow 2

Here’s my final bid on this…do suspect there will be some unforeseen screw holes, but am hoping they’re few and far enough in between…

The low is expected to be a little farther west than was thought yesterday, which brings marginal temps and a dry slot farther in from the south/east into south-central, southeastern, and east-central Ohio for a good chunk of time this evening into the night. This really eats into the area I thought would see the best snow in east-central Ohio yesterday, and that represents the largest change from yesterday’s forecast. There may be a sharper cutoff from good snows just west of Columbus to dry slot and only an inch or two farther east than expected, which is one area that may end up getting shafted compared to this map depending on how quickly the dry slot fills after midnight.

Within the broad band of light snow expected to develop from southwestern and west-central to central, north-central, and northeastern Ohio by late this evening there will be a couple of areas to watch for better snows. The first will be across parts of west-central Ohio where a TROWAL will advect into the shield of snow for several hours this evening. The better moisture/lift and instability with this feature should cause a period of moderate snow where it hits the deformation/cold conveyor belt snow. Forecast soundings show decent lift within the DGZ, so once it cools enough for snow and accumulates ratios may actually be higher than 10:1. With a good upslope flow into the higher terrain in west-central OH potentially aligning with the better snow, along with slightly colder temps in the higher elevations, think that if any area sees a number of 6″+ reports it’s there…so did highlight that with 5-7″ within the larger 3-6″ area.

The other area to watch will be across the northern portions of the shield of precip, where some modest low to mid-level fgen is likely to squeeze out a band of snow that’s at times moderate. This area also shows decent lift in the DGZ on soundings from the NAM, GFS, and RAP, so again once it starts snowing and sticking ratios may actually give a bit of a boost. There are still hints that an area of higher theta-e air in the low and mid-levels will advect into this area of fgen early Wednesday in extreme eastern Ohio and get pinched off, possibly causing a few hours of better snow. Because of this, did keep a 3-6″ area in extreme east-central Ohio, though that’s not the highest of confidence.

Suspect there will be some areas that don’t do great between the better snow from the TROWAL in west-central OH and better snow from the fgen in northern OH, but its kind of hard to guess where. Areas between the better lift will still see several hours of snow, so I’m still hoping they can see 3-4″ of snow…but suspect some spots won’t quite get there. Did go conservative on the northern edge in NE OH downwind of the higher terrain, due to already dry NE winds downsloping off of the higher terrain in the Snowbelt into the east side of Cleveland and areas NE of Akron.

Think south-central and SE Ohio see an inch or so late tonight into early Wednesday as the CCB/deform snow collapses SE as the low fills and jumps to the East Coast. With marginal temps, mainly light rates, and shorter duration am not expecting more than an inch, maybe two inches on the hilltops, in this portion of Ohio.

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